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Rampal plant set to start operations in Oct: Joint announcement during PM’s India visit likely

  • Shamim Jahangir
  • 30th August, 2022 10:32:26 PM
  • Print news

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are likely to jointly announce the completion of Unit-1 of Rampal Power Plant (PP) during PM Hasina’s visit to India in September.

The unit will be ready for the commercial run at the end of October.

The information came from the Indian High Commission during a facilitation visit to the power plant site at Bagerhat in Khulna.  

“In a major step towards further strengthening the India–Bangladesh Power Sector Cooperation, Unit-I of the 2x660 MW Maitree Super Thermal Power Project was successfully synchronized with the National Grid on August 15. The completion of construction of Unit-I of the power plant is expected to be jointly announced by the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh during the visit of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India in September 2022,” the Indian High Commission said.      

“The Unit-1 of the 2x660 MW Maitree Super Thermal Power Project will be ready for commercial run at the end of October, said Subhash Chandra Pandey, project director of Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Private Ltd. (BIFPCL), a 50:50 Joint Venture Company between India's NTPC and Ltd and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).  

The power plant is being constructed under India’s Concessional Financing Scheme. It is being built by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) for the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Private Ltd. (BIFPCL) at a cost of $ 2 billion.

“The reliability test is making progress. Unit-1 is 100 percent ready for commercial operation,” the Project director said.  

He noted that the project has been delayed by over 19 months due to Covid-19 pandemic as well as delays in soil test.

Subhash Chandra Pandey said they have over one million tonnes of coal reserve that will be able to meet the demand of the two units for three months.

He also said the power tariff will be determined based on the cost of imported coal.

“But the cost will be lower than other coal-fired power plants.”

The Power Plant is being set up with Super Critical Technology to actively mitigate environmental impact, he added.

“Some of the in-built measures to minimise air and water pollution include a Flue Gas Desulphurization System (FGD) with no bypass to control the emission of SOx, Integrated Effluent and Waste Management System to avoid contamination of Pasur River, construction of the tallest Chimney in Bangladesh (at 275 m) for a wider dispersion of flue gas emissions, construction of an advance Ship Un loader for coal as well as a fully covered Coal Stock Yard, along with use of High Grade imported coal with low ash and Sulphur content,” the project director said.

After completion and successful synchronization of Unit-I of the Power Plant, further synchronization-related activities are currently being undertaken before handing over the unit to the government.

The second unit of the power plant is expected to be commissioned early next year.

BIPCL has signed a facility agreement involving $1600 million with the Export-Import Bank of India for financing of the EPC contract award to BHEL along with capitalization of interest during construction (IDC). Of the amount, $100 million has been earmarked for capitalization of interest during construction.